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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Look to the future and tell us what you see

In my November 7 blog, I wrote about the COMPASS art contest to get children’s perspective on what their communities will look like in 25 years. You’ll hear more on that from me later as we choose our winners.

Now it’s your turn to share your perspective.

What do you think the Treasure Valley will look like in the future? Even more importantly, what do you want it to look like? We know we will grow. Where will that growth go? What infrastructure do we need to accommodate it?

We are undertaking a process to help answer these types of questions. The end result will be a "preferred growth scenario" — a realistic vision of what Treasure Valley residents want the valley to look like in the year 2040.

This vision, or scenario, will be developed by you, Treasure Valley residents, and must be adopted by the COMPASS Board. The scenario will be the basis for Communities in Motion 2040, the regional long-range transportation and sustainability plan.

As a first step in developing a growth scenario, COMPASS will hold three all-day, hands-on workshops (February 29, March 1, and March 2, 2012) to engage community leaders, elected officials, and stakeholders (you!) to develop a common set of goals and identify three to four potentially desirable growth scenarios that could occur. With others at your table, you’ll be able to literally map out what you want the future to look like. Those scenarios will then be presented to the broader public for their review and comment before a final scenario is presented to the COMPASS Board for their consideration.

Would you like to participate in one of these workshops to share your vision for the future? Learn more by clicking here, then fill out an online self-nomination form by Friday, January 20, 2012. You can access the form from the link above. You’ll be asked to tell us why you want to participate, what types of interests or groups you represent or belong to, what unique perspectives you bring to the table, and which workshop(s) you could attend. Space is limited, so there may not be room for everyone who self-nominates. Self-nominees will be chosen to include a broad cross-section of interests and opinions. You will be notified in late January if you have been selected to participate.

If you are unable to participate in one of the workshops, there will still be plenty of opportunity for you to participate in the process. After the workshops, the potential scenarios will be presented for review and comment by the public. Everyone will be invited to weigh in on which scenario best represents their vision for the future of the valley and why.

Developing Communities in Motion 2040 will be a long process. While developing a preferred growth scenario is just one step in this process, it is an important one...perhaps even the most important one, as it will set the stage for the rest of the plan and the future of the Treasure Valley. I encourage you to be involved.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Communities in Motion 2040: Why Do You Care?

One of the most common questions we hear about long-range planning, is “why should I care?” It can be hard to get excited about a plan that looks so far into the future when today’s issues are pressing on us.

So, on the COMPASS web site and in our quarterly email updates about Communities in Motion 2040, we share reasons why COMPASS thinks people should care about Communities in Motion 2040 ― the regional long-range transportation and sustainability plan that will look nearly 30 years to the future.

However, even more important than why we think you should care is why you do care. So, we are asking people why they care, or think others should. We promised to share the reasons submitted to us quarterly; this is the first installment.

Why people care about Communities in Motion 2040, as submitted by you

  • The long-range plan is the ground work for growth and projects in the future.
  • It helps the individual agencies (cities, counties, highway districts, transit authority) grow as a region.
  • I can actually make a difference by being educated and involved!
  • There is not enough money to fund our needs. We need innovative ideas to plan for the future.
  • There is controversy over which is the driver of economic development… land use or transportation. Which comes first?
  • We need new jobs and Communities in Motion can help plan for the needs of those jobs.

To share why you think Communities in Motion 2040 is important ― why you care ― email aluft@compassidaho.org and we’ll post your ideas here. Thanks for caring and sharing!

Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho

COMPASS is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for transportation planning in Ada and Canyon Counties. The COMPASS Board comprises 39 members representing the cities, counties, highway districts, educational institutions, state agencies, and other entities within the two counties. COMPASS plays an important role in making decisions about future long-range transportation needs in the Treasure Valley, taking into consideration environmental and economic factors that affect the quality of life.